Strong-arming local Labour Parties just hit new heights. Help us track what’s happening.

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The efforts the Labour Party machinery is making to control its Constituency Parties (CLPs) hit new heights on Wednesday 9 December. One media outlet went so far as to call it “Orwellian” as the strong-arming hit fever pitch. Now, The Canary has begun to track these attacks on local parties. And we want you to get involved.

Banning dissent?

As The Canary previously reported, there have been some dodgy goings-on in Bristol. The SKWAWKBOX wrote that two prominent members of two of the city’s CLPs were suspended. It noted on 25 November that the party had suspended:

First the chair and one co-secretary of Bristol West… for allowing a motion – decisively passed – in support of Jeremy Corbyn.

Then the other co-secretary… on the nebulous grounds of suspicion of breaking some unspecified rule. …

And now, the chair and secretary of Bristol North-West CLP have also been suspended – and again on suspicion of breaking some unspecified rule.

The SKWAWKBOX also noted on 25 November that the party has effectively banned motions that support Corbyn. It published an internal memo from Labour’s “governance department”. It stated that “all motions which touch on” the “issues” surrounding Corbyn “must be ruled out of order”. In other words, CLPs must throw out any motions relating to the former Labour leader.

It also said that:

Labour is officially equating any and all expressions of solidarity with Corbyn or criticism of its political decisions with racism.

Since then, things have taken an even greater turn for the worse.

“Literally Orwellian”?

The SKWAWKBOX has been covering the situation in detail. For example, recently Louth and Horncastle passed a motion calling for:

an investigation into the suppression of freedom of speech, how the instruction was disseminated and under what authority.

Then, on 9 December it reported that Bath CLP:

has been forced to cancel a planned meeting to elect officers and discuss motions after ‘deliberate confusion’ in which all the planned motions it submitted were ruled out by the party’s regional office – except one to mark the anniversary of the death of George Orwell

It called this “literally Orwellian”. And given what’s been going on of late, this hard-line approach is likely to continue. So, The Canary is mapping CLPs that are resisting the main party line.

Mapping rebellion

You can view our interactive map here. On it, you can see the number of CLPs that oppose the main party’s stance:

The Canary Interactive Map

You can zoom in on our map to view more detail. So, in London for example, The Canary has tracked nine rebelling CLPs:

London CLPs on a map

As of 5pm on 9 December, The Canary has tracked 40 CLPs and we will be updating the map with details of what’s happened at each CLP.

But we want to keep this project up-to-date. So, if you’re a member of a CLP that has recently passed a motion that goes against the main party line, contact us. You can speak to Emma Guy on the Investigations Team by emailing emma.guy(at)thecanary.co

Alternatively, you can securely get in touch via our Tip Offs page here.

This authoritarian approach from the central party is having a detrimental effect on local democracy. So, it’s crucial that we hold to account those pushing this strong-arming. By helping The Canary map dissenting CLPs, we can begin to get an idea of the scale of the resistance. Then, we can all take action.

Featured image via The Canary and the Telegraph – YouTube



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